Institute of Education

Research & Expertise to Make a Difference in Education & Beyond

Exploring Higher Education Landscapes in Federal Nations

An international research team led by IOE has completed a large-scale study that analyzes how higher education systems have been evolving in federal countries. The resulting volume has recently come off the press at SAGE.

Higher Education in Federal Countries: A Comparative Study
, a new volume released in the SAGE Higher Education Studies series, is the first-ever attempt to take an overarching perspective on higher education pathways in nine federal countries: the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, China and India. The book is edited by Martin Carnoy (Professor of Education and Economics at Stanford University, Academic Supervisor of the IOE International Laboratory for Education Policy Analysis), Isak Froumin (Professor and Head of IOE), Oleg Leshukov (Research Fellow at the IOE Laboratory for University Development), and Simon Marginson (Professor at the Center for International Higher Education, Institute of Education, University College London).

The volume discusses the role of federalism and how it has molded higher education in major nation-state actors across the globe. The book provides a comprehensive comparative analysis of the dynamics of central and regional power schemas in higher education. The country cases explain how each federal and federal-like higher education system has evolved and how it functions. The book makes a major contribution to higher education studies and defines a new field of comparative analysis.

IOE’s recent agenda has increasingly focused on studying educational inequality in various contexts and at different levels. This research dimension is specifically relevant when it comes to higher education since it is directly linked with regional migration of the brightest and most promising high-school graduates. That said, what makes this new study a distinctive and valuable contribution to robust policy design is that it transcends the realm of subnational inequalities to provide insights into what sort of positive experiences and policy lessons individual national HE systems can draw from dynamic cross-country comparisons rendered.

Isak Froumin 
Head of HSE Institute of Education

Now that Russia has set about revising its framework in higher education governance, with the policy to pay greater attention to the socio-economic heterogeneity of Russian regions and how individual universities could more sizably and diversely contribute to their host ecosystems, the study in question will definitely provide important guidelines for strategists to develop more reasoned HE governance upgrades that factor in relevant best practices from other federal nations.